Photo Printing Behaviour

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Jan 5, 2012

Over the years a large proportion of digital camera owners have developed undesirable printing habits. The novelty of owning a digital camera has faded and alternative electronic methods for viewing and sharing of photos have meant that printing is considered an option rather than a necessity. The figure below shows that over the last few years Western Europeans photo printing behaviours have remained stable. Around half of digital camera owners reveal that they ‘never print photos’ or ‘only print when they have to — such as if someone asks for a photo’. This is a cause for concern for the photo printing industry, as there is a fine line between those that never print and those that only print when they have to. These printing habits are generally adopted by late technology adopters and casual photographers, as well as those who use their mobile phone most often for taking photos, those who have owned their newest digital camera for more than 2 years and infrequent digital camera users.

Those that “Print photos within a week of taking them,” “print on a regular schedule,” and “print after big photo taking occasions” are considered to have good printing habits. These more desirable printing habits are seen among those who have a keen interest in photography, those aged between 18-39, hobbyist photographers, and early technology adopters. Keen photographers will typically use their camera more frequently and take more photos than the average digital camera owner. InfoTrends’ research shows that the more photos a person takes increases the propensity to print.

Which best describes your digital photo printing habits?

Which best describes your digital photo printing habits?

Over the years digital photo prints have faced growing competition from electronic viewing methods. Investment must be made in marketing initiatives that prompt consumers to print their photos soon after they are taken, as research has shown that the longer a person waits to print, the less likely they are to actually do so. The photo printing industry needs to encourage digital camera owners to print their photos, especially for the benefits print holds as a long term storage solution, emphasizing the ability of good quality prints to outlast electronic storage methods. Most electronic viewing methods do not have the durability to outlast good quality photo prints and as technology evolves, photos saved electronically may not be as easily accessible in the future as prints.

For more information on consumer photo printing behaviours check out the Photo Printing Behaviours: 2011 European Digital Photography Survey report. It examines consumers’ printing behaviours, highlights significant changes over the years, and considers the challenges and prospects that may lie ahead in the photo printing market.

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